Category Archives: Cucumbers

Three Types Of Cucumbers This Season

I have grown 3 types of cucumbers this spring.  The 3 shorties on the left are Little Muncher/Ferry Morse from a store rack.  The next 2 are Tasty Green hybrid from Twilley Seeds.  The 2 on the right are Heirloom Japanese Long Soyu.

3 types of cucumbers

I don’t like Marketmore type cukes – I prefer English type cukes.  Thus these 3 varieties do not have that bitter jelly like filling around the seeds like the standard Marketmore cukes do.

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Squash, Zucchini and Cucumbers Are Starting To Come In

Finally, the squash and cucumbers are starting to come in.

The round zucchini is a hybrid 8 Ball. I think that the 2 zucchini on the left side are Elite Hybrid – I picked the small one a few days too early.  The pepper is a sweet banana and the 3 cucumbers are either Twilley Tasty Green hybrid or Japanese Long Heriloom –
squash, zucchini and cucumbers are starting to mature

I am picking the onions that I find.  I waited too long and some of the tops have already dried up.  If I miss some onions, they will re-sprout in the fall.  Some of these onions are from sets that I  bought at a big box store and some are from seeds that I started at the first of the year – see an earlier post – I didn’t bother making note of which are which.
onion harvest

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Overview Time

Time for an overview.  This garden, except for the peppers, has exploded in the past 3 or so weeks.

This view is from the center row, looking up at 4 raised beds – 2 on each side.  In the far set of beds, you can see the summer squash over flowing into the row between the beds.  Since I don’t have very much bed space, I planned to grow squash on each side of the raised cattle panels in the middle and allow the squash to grow over the side into the middle beds.

In the front bed on the right, you can see the cucumbers and the waltham butternut squash growing on the ground around the bed.  The left bed has chard and some poor quality tomatoes.

overview of garden

This picture is from standing at the opposite end of the garden, looking at those squash plants growing into the aisle.
overview of garden

It was very humid today and the camera lens fogged up on this picture.  This picture was standing just a bit over from the last picture.  The grass is in serious need of mowing, but it has been so wet this past week.
foggy lens  garden overview

A closeup of the zucchini and squash.  These are hybrid plants from Twilley Seed.  They grow larger than heirloom plants.  Some winter squash – butternuts – are growing up on the center cattle panel.  That is a pot of basil in the front corner.
overview of garden

The squash is doing great.  The peppers are a failure due to excessive spring rain.  The beans aren’t doing the greatest.  The chard has to be harvested soon because it doesn’t like the heat.

I mulch between the raised beds with wood chips and bark.

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Female Blossoms, But No Male Blossoms To Pollinate Them

These hybrid 8 Ball Zucchini plants grow fast and strong, but they put out female blossoms first!?  I have had 4 female blossoms so far, but not a single male cucurbit blossom to pollinate them with.  Since I’m not saving seed, ANY male cucurbit blossom would have worked – squash, cucumber or melon.

8 ball zucchini first fruit

What a waste.  I decided last season that I didn’t plan to buy anymore 8 Ball seeds because they could be hard to harvest.  Often, the round fruit would form on the bottom of the plant stem so that to harvest it I had to move the stem around a bit.  I don’t like to move the stems – they could snap or bend.  And then when I cut the plant off, if it was under the stem, the plant would usually fall over because the fruit was holding the plant up.  Just too messy.  However, since I still have seeds, I will plant some each year until the seeds are gone.

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Daddy-Long Legs Gather Under Cucumber Leaves

Throughout the growing season I have noticed daddy-long legs gathering in groups under cuke leaves – usually in groups of a dozen or so. Today I had my camera with me and noticed about half a dozen under this leaf.
daddy long legs
Interesting – don’t know why they congregate under these cucumber leaves. Haven’t seen them under squash leaves.

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A Week of Rain Destroys a Squash Garden

This part of Texas is usually hot and dry during the summer.   This past week we had a very unusual event:  7 days of rain.    Every day we had some rain.   Some days we had over 2 inches and other days we had an eighth or a quarter inch of rain.  The total rain for the week was a bit over 6 inches.   You might think this is a good thing.  Not so – we had rain every day.   Along with high humidity, we had very little sunshine to dry the leaves off.   I went out to the garden a few times during the week and sprayed Neem oil on the leaves, but the rain every day just washed it off.

Before the week of rain, I had been battling powdery mildew, but the rain spread the stuff all over the garden.  I can clearly see where the white stuff dripped to leaves below, to infect them.  I can also see where it splashed around, spreading it thru rain drops.

This 8 Ball zucchini is totally infected with powdery mildew.    This is rather unusual – these hybrid zucchini plants had showed themselves to be somewhat resistant to powdery mildew.
powdery mildew zucchini

Here are some more zucchini plants that have a heavy, thick coating of powdery mildew.  See how terribly thick those white spots are.
powdery mildew after rain

This squash plant is fatally infected with powdery mildew.
powdery mildew

This yellow summer squash plant is just about dead from powdery mildew.   All of the older leaves are fatally infected.  There just isn’t enough plant left to support the growing tip – this plant will probably die before it produces another squash.    It was a full, happy plant until the week of rain spread the mildew and killed the plant.
squash almost killed by powdery mildew

Another picture of powdery mildew all over zucchini leaves.  The stuff is ALL OVER!
powdery mildew on zucchini

Look at these leaves –  the powdery mildew is on every plant in the garden.   It must have been spread by the rain that splattered all over the garden for a week.
powdery mildew closeup

These cucumber leaves seem fairly resistant to the powdery mildew blight, but the older leaves have some strange tan spots and holes in them.   I don’t know what caused those holes.
cukes with holes in leaves

The older leaves on these zucchini plants are totally destroyed and it has spread to the new growth.  I sprayed the entire garden with Neem oil today, but most plants are t00 far gone to survive much longer.   The powdery mildew is just too rampant.

All squash plants are affected, even the once resistant hybrid zucchini and Waltham butternuts.  I have found out that Crenshaw squash are super- sensitive to powdery mildew.
grey zucchini with powdery mildew

This pic was taken before the rain week.  It shows what powdery mildew does to leaves.  A mild case of powdery mildew causes the leaves to become dry and stiff.   They then dry out, develop holes and then die.  This is the result of a mild case of mildew – after the week of rain I have a massive infection of powdery mildew.  I can see it killing entire groups of leaves at a time.
old leaves killed by powdery mildew

I usually burn my old squash plants at seasons end – I do not put them in the compost if they show any sign of disease of bug infection.  I’m not sure if powdery mildew will preclude my composting these plants.  I really do need green plants in the compost, but I don’t want to risk feeding the compost pile an organism that may survive composting and spread next season.  I’ll have to do some research on this matter.

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Overview – From July 10

This is the middle walkway between the 2 long rows of raised beds.  The beds are 5 feet wide and 16 feet long – to accommodate the 16′ cattle panels.  I planned to plant climbing plants – mostly beans, squash and cucumbers – under the cattle panels on both sides of the bed and plant other things along the outer 2 feet of each long side.  I planted these squash so that they could grow down into the 4′ aisle between the beds.  In the very front, left you can see a long vine growing along the outside of the raised bed.  This is one of 4 Crenshaw winter squash that I grew.  These seem overly sensitive to powdery mildew and I don’t believe they will live long enough to produce a single fruit.   The winter squash growing on the cattle panel on the front left are several varieties including Seminole pumpkin.  These did very well last year.  On the bottom right side is the cattle panel where my cucumbers are growing.

At the top middle left of the pic is the raised cattle panel on which my Long Red Chinese Beans are growing.  They have really taken off  but have yet to start producing the 12″ red ‘green’ beans.  At the old place, I grew them up twine in a narrow bed in front of the carport.  That gave them at least 10′ – which still wasn’t enough room.  These cattle panels are no where high enough for the beans.  They are growing wildly, but when I try to tuck the growing ends in and out of the cattle panels, they easily snap.  Next year I will have to find some place better for them to grow.
overview july 10

I need to get the garden in on time next spring.

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Two Types of Cucumbers

I am growing 2 types of cucumbers this season.  Tasty Green, a hybrid from Twilley Seed, and Ferry Morse’s Muncher cucumber.  I prefer an ‘english’ type cucumber and Tasty Green is that.  Just for the heck of it, I picked up a Ferry Morse seed packet and Muncher was a”‘non-marketmore” type cucumber.  I call the standard grocery store type cucumber ‘marketmore’.  English type cucumbers – and fortunately,  Muncher, do NOT have that jelly like center that surrounds the seeds.  It can sometimes get bitter and I just don’t like them.
2 types of cucumbers

The Tasty Green needs to be picked when about 12″ long, before it starts to get fat.  Once it starts to get fat, it can develop a jelly-like filling around the seeds.  Muncher, on it’s seed packet, looked sort of like a short ‘english-type’ cucumber, and that is what it harvests as.

These cucumbers both seem to be somewhat resistant to the powdery mildew that is racing its way thru my garden.  They have been growing for 7 to 8 weeks and are really producing now.

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I like to grow my vines, cucumbers included, on cattle panels staked to the ground with t-posts. I have never noticed any problem with growing vines on metal in the hot weather – that is, I have never noticed the metal getting hot enough to burn the vines.   When the vines grow up over the top of the panels, I weave the tips in and out thru the openings along the top of the panel.

cucumbers closeup

You can see cucumbers in these pics.  It is so interesting how the vines all hold their leaves in the same way in the same direction – as seen in the pic above.  Like little soldiers holding their shields up to the sun.

cucumbers on cattle panel

I leave the panels up full time, I do not take them down for the winter.  They are 16′ long and that is why I built my raised beds 16′ long.

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The First Cucumber

Recall that everything was planted a month late because of our move.

This is my first cucumber.  Usually by this time I would have been harvesting many 12″ + cucumbers.  The temps have been in the 100’s for a week now and the young garden is taking a beating.

first cucumber of 2013

When this little cuke grows to a foot long, it will be ready to harvest.

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